The Green Book Wine Club Train Trip Cast
Marie (Courtney “CJ” Jackson)
Courtney is an actress, singer-songwriter, producer, dancer, and screenwriter. She began acting in her mother’s cherubic choir, performing plays and skits as a little girl. It was in church where Courtney’s love for music grew as well. The performing arts are no stranger to her bloodline. Her mother, Deirdre, is a classically trained pianist who taught music in Detroit’s Mumford High School’s esteemed music department. CJ’s grandfather, Melvin Howard, performed with legends like Cab Calloway and Sarah Vaughn on some of Harlem’s main stages in the 1940′s, while several cousins still perform in jazz quartets. Courtney enjoys creating conscious music for the masses and produces almost all songs she performs. Because teaching is also a passion, CJ pens educational rap songs for young people too. This year, Courtney wrote, directed, and produced her first web series titled, America’s Black Sweetheart, debuting June 2022. You can find her on the big screen as Jaylen’s wife in Night School, or on the hit series, Tough Love Atl, as Lori B, the trending disc jockey. Courtney has traveled the world, singing in London, Amsterdam, Belgium, Dublin and Rennes, to name a few. She also toured the states for over a decade with the “Queen of Soul,” Ms. Aretha Franklin, as one of her noted dancers.
Lynn/Bertha (Synthia Williams )
Synthia has worked in every area of theatre – from crew to producer to writer. Her acting credits include Gem of the Ocean, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom , Old Settler, Seven Guitars and American Menu. Some directing credits include Miss Evers’ Boys, Jitney, Two Trains Running, Louis and Ophelia, The Piano Lesson and The Amen Corner. Synthia is a playwright with four produced plays: Sisters, Sins of the Father, Boxing Memories and Domestic Damages. She has a MFA in Writing from Spalding University and a BA in Communications from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Synthia would like to thank her family and friends for their support and love in all her endeavors.
Alicia/Henrietta (Alesha Whitaker)
Alesha, a native of Albany, GA, got her start on the Hope Theatre stage of House of Hope Atlanta.She has performed in several breakout roles in productions with Acts of Hope. She has also starred and appeared in several stage plates, movies, and television productions and reenactments since starting. Alesha has also done her share of behind the scenes work, directed, and co -directsseveral stage productions. Excited about working with this awesome cast and director, she loves being a part of this talented group. When not acting, Alesha loves traveling, coaching, and spending time with her family.
Toni/Cotton Blue (Amanda Franklin)
Amanda is excited to be back gracing the New African Grove stage. She was previously seen in Mary McCollum’s Hunger in Paradise and August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. If you attended New African Grove’s productions in recent years, you may have seen her with her camera equipment, filming the show on the company’s behalf. Amanda is an alumni of Savannah State University, where she received her degree in Mass Communications (video production) and Theatre. She’s happy to be directed by her father once again, and thanks him for his guidance and blessing her with his natural talent.
Saige/Lucy (LaKesha Paul)
LaKesha was born in Atlanta, GA. She found a genuine love for acting as a youth. She joined her high school’s drama department and was crowned the club’s queen for her versatility and flare on stage. She joined House Of Hope Atlanta in 2012 and made her acting debut with The Acts of Hope Drama Ministry in 2013. That experience awakened her desire to be on stage and she began to audition more and take on more roles. In 2016, she was blessed with the opportunity to write, direct and produce her own play, “Welcome Home”. Since that time she has written several plays, skits and a short film. She became the coordinator of The Acts of Hope Drama Ministry in 2018 and looks forward to helping to guide others to their dreams. Since surviving the pandemic, she’s very excited and honored to get back to her passion alongside this very talented cast.